Diamond-Surplus Weblog

October 29, 2008

Growing Bigger, Better Diamonds? It can be done!

I honestly could not believe my eyes when I came across this article. Growing bigger, better diamonds???? Science is really fascinating! It truly amazes me at times how science can create wonders when I read interesting articles like these.

Take a look!

Scientists grow bigger, better diamonds

Using chemical vapor deposition, gems can be grown very rapidly

If you thought that rock on the ring in the window of Tiffany’s was big and beautiful, the diamonds treated in labs with a newly-developed method will really blow you away.

 

Diamonds grown in the laboratory using a chemical vapor deposition process can be treated by a new high temperature, low pressure method to improve their color and optical clarity.

 

 

Diamond, a particular form of pure carbon, is of course used for more than adding sparkle to jewelry. It is also used for making scalpel blades, electronic components, and even quantum computers.

But the very properties of diamond that make it perfect for these uses — its hardness (it’s the hardest known naturally-occurring mineral), optical clarity and resistance to chemicals, radiation and electrical fields — can also make it a difficult substance to work with.

Defects can be purged from diamond by a heating process called annealing, but this process can turn diamond into graphite, another form, or allotrope, of carbon that is soft and gray and used in pencil leads.

To prevent graphitization, diamond treatments have previously required using high pressures (up to 60,000 times atmospheric pressure, or the pressure we experience at sea level) during the annealing process, but such high pressure/high temperature processes are expensive and put limits on the size and amounts of diamonds that can be treated.

A team of scientists at the Carnegie Institution in Washington, D.C., have found away to get around these issues — and make bigger, better diamonds.

Growing diamonds
They use a method called chemical vapor deposition (CVD) to grow synthetic diamonds. Unlike other diamond-growing methods that use high pressures like those found deep in the Earth where natural diamonds are formed, CVD produces single-crystal diamonds at low pressure. These diamonds can be grown very rapidly and have relatively few defects.

The Carnegie team could take these synthetic diamonds and anneal them at temperatures up to 3,632 degrees Fahrenheit (2,000 degrees Celsius) at pressures below atmospheric pressure. The annealing process turns the diamond crystals, which are originally yellow-brown, colorless or light pink. The process also has minimal graphitization.

“It is striking to see brown CVD diamonds transformed by this cost-efficient method into clear, pink-tinted crystals,” said study team member Chih-shiue Yan.

The researchers also figured out what causes the pink tint: A nitrogen atom takes the place of a carbon atom in certain place in the crystal structure. This finding “may also help the gem industry to distinguish natural from synthetic diamond,” Yan said.

The new method, detailed in the Oct. 27 issue of the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, also lets the researchers grow diamonds bigger.

“The most exciting aspect of this new annealing process is the unlimited size of the crystals that can be treated,” said study team member Ho-kwang Mao. “The breakthrough will allow us to push to kilocarat diamonds of high optical quality.”

The Hope Diamond is a mere 45.52 carats.

 

 

 

I wonder if they would grow a diamond for me….hahaha! :p

 

 

                                                                                                           

 

Source: LifeScience.com

 

 

 

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October 28, 2008

$5M ‘fantasy’ bra by Victoria’s Secret

Wow…..a 5 MILLION for a diamond studded bra???? I am speechless!
Take a look at this article!

A “fantasy” $5 million bra studded with 3,600 black diamonds has been unveiled by the Victoria’s Secret lingerie chain.

The bra, which also boasts white diamonds and rubies, weighs 1,500 carats and is believed to be one of the most valuable items of underwear ever made.

Two tear-shaped black diamonds, with a combined weight of 100 carats, hang down from the middle.

The one-off bra – which contains 3,900 gems in total – is modelled by Brazilian Adriana Lima in the Victoria’s Secret Christmas catalogue.

It was created by Martin Katz, the rare gem jeweller who has worked on previous luxury lingerie for the firm.

“This year, I’ve really enjoyed working with non-traditional gems,” he said. “So, what better avenue, to showcase nearly 3,600 black diamonds than on the most extravagant holiday gift.”

He added: “Designing it for a gorgeous Brazilian supermodel wasn’t exactly a let-down either.”

Lima, who will also wear the bra in a televised fashion show on Dec 3, described it as “exquisite”. “It really is an honor to be wearing a Victoria’s Secret fantasy bra,” she said.

Despite the price tag, the bra is not the most expensive ever made. In 2005 supermodel Gisele Bundchen donned a $12.5 million bra (12.5 million!?!? I am even more speechless!), also made by Victoria’s Secret.

I wonder if anyone really buys it to wear

Source: Telegraph.co.uk

October 24, 2008

Diamonds for a Cure Launches New Jewelry Collection in Honor of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month

 

I like stories in which charity is the theme. It gives me a sense that there are people who still care. Granted that in some cases it might be for publicity, but if it benefits the receiver, I guess it’s a win-win situation.

Here is a story I came across in Honor of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month when I was busy hunting for diamond themed news!

 

 

Inspired by the Belief That “Diamonds Are Precious… So Is Life,” Diamonds for a Cure Will Donate a Percentage of Sales (From Its Collections) to Benefit Cancer Research

4ct natural pink diamond flower ring

4ct natural pink diamond flower ring

 

 

Celebrated New York jewelry designer and breast cancer survivor Neda Behnam announced Diamonds for a Cure (DFAC) will join the growing number of companies and designers coming together this October to raise funds for cancer research.

18 white gold rough diamond pendant with a diamond center stone

18 white gold rough diamond pendant with a diamond center stone

 

 

 

A 4ct. natural pink diamond flower ring set in rose gold, and an 18k white gold rough diamond pendant with a diamond center stone on either a black or pink silk cord are just two of the pieces in DFAC’s “Think Pink” collection. DFAC is donating $100 from each sale of the flower ring and $50 from each pendant sale.

 

For information http://www.tmgpress.com/dfac/

 

 

Source: Market Watch

 

 

October 21, 2008

Let the Stars Glitter and Shine (Part 1)

I am back in picture mode once more, and I was browsing around for interesting topics to cover and had an “aha” moment and decided to do a little  picture collection of famous actresses (and actors, though that would be a tad interesting) doning the ‘bling blings’. Thus, let me introduce my collection (part 1! haha)

 

Catherine Zeta Jones

Catherine Zeta Jones

 Granted it’s an advertisement, I find the three unique, collection Catherine has fits her perfectly.

Angelina Jolie

Angelina Jolie

The usually gorgeous looking Angelina Jolie doesn’t seem to ‘shine’ in this piece.
Anne Hathaway

Anne Hathaway

Love the earrings and the bracelet!

Jennifer Hudson

Jennifer Hudson

Jen really shines in this picture. Her makeup, her hairdo, her jewelry, her outfit…goes well don’t you think?
Nicole Kidman

Nicole Kidman

I don’t know why but I don’t seem to think this piece suits Nicole…it just looks too messy for her. Not her best

 

Kiera Knightly

Kiera Knightly

 Lovely! Her smokey eyes, the hairdo and the peacock themed jewelry. Two thumbs up!

Sophia Loren

Sophia Loren

I saved the best for last. Sophia Loren…she may be 2x older than the rest of the women here but I think she is marvellous. Damiani’s Jewelry thinks so at least, haha. Above is a picture of her donning their jewelry at Damiani’s grand opening at their flagship store in Japan. The necklace is just awesome (it is $1.83 million btw)….white gold and diamond necklace. The accompanying bracelet is worth $254, 800. (seriously, i wonder how safe is it to wear something that costs so much!)

 

 

What do you think of my collection so far? 🙂

 

 

 

 

October 10, 2008

Diamond Encrusted Earphone Covers from DEOS

Diamond encrusted earphone covers!!!????

I am speechless……

Pure ear candy: Goldkenn co-founder Steven Goldstein returns to travel retail with a sparkle

SWITZERLAND. Industry veteran Steven Goldstein, the co-founder of Goldkenn, one of the great confectionery successes in duty free, is returning to the sector with New York-based luxury accessories brand DEOS.

Founded by jewellery designer Allison Lee Zeiss, DEOS offers interchangeable diamond- and crystal-encrusted earphone covers for the Apple iPod and iPhone.

Already seeing success in the Americas, where DEOS handles its own sales operation, it is now targeting travel retail with the help of Axions SA, Goldstein’s Geneva-based company. Axions is the brand’s international sales arm worldwide.

DEOS (‘Defining Expression Of Sound’)

Inspired by Apple’s iconic design aesthetic, Zeiss has married technology, luxury and design to offer Apple users another vehicle to showcase their individuality.

DEOS earphone covers come in three collections – DEOS Diamond, CVRZ with Swarovski crystals, and the CVRZ aluminium range – each targeting a particular price segment.

The DEOS Diamond collection, made of titanium and encrusted with coloured diamonds, is manufactured using the latest in casting technology. Each piece is handcrafted and hand-set – at a price. “DEOS Diamond retails from about US$60,000 for the ones fully covered with coloured diamonds (yellow, pink or black) to about US$4,500 in white and in black diamonds,” Goldstein told The Moodie Report.


“With the titanium and diamond collection, the sky is the limit for people who are discerning and have the means to spend. The pieces are unique, the colours of the stones are perfect and wearing those earphones is definitely not for everyone. Yet they are not over flashy and show both the good taste and wealth of the wearer,” he added.

 

Next along the price line are the CVRZ crystal earphones, available fully or partially covered with hand-selected Swarovski crystals in a myriad of colours. This collection retails at about US$110 for the half-covered to US$200 for the fully-covered line.

And finally, for “students and younger people who also want to make a fashion statement” but can’t afford the higher-end ranges, the CVRZ plain coloured aluminium earphones retail at about US$20. Colour choices include red, blue, green, yellow and orange.

Blinging it on in travel retail

Goldstein saw the potential of DEOS for travel retail at the outset. “When my wife Dany and I met with Allison it was like love at first sight – with her personality, her talent and the enthusiasm she radiates. We were very impressed with the line of products she presented: they are not only nice-looking jewels but a concept for today’s world where technology meets beauty, allowing ladies to make a full fashion statement. My wife and I saw the birth of a new fashion trend,” he enthused.

He added: “Today there are more than 152 million earphones in the world. [It’s] a marvellous way of making a fashion statement. When you meet someone the person sees first your face and then looks at your ears. The range of earphone covers is perfect for all types of customers as Allison has made products for all price levels.”

Goldstein sees the way DEOS straddles the categories of technology, fashion accessories and fine jewellery as a major strength of the brand.

“Our line has a very interesting positioning: it can be considered as Joaillerie with the DEOS Diamond line which has a very high retail value, but at the same time it can be considered as fashion jewellery with the CVRZ lines. It can be sold in the electronics shop as an accessory also. It is going to be the challenge of the retailer to decide where the lines will make the most sense,” he said.

“Inflight should be one of our major targets as [the DEOS product] is small and has a high retail value,” he added.

 

I must say, it does look cool though….LOL

Would I spend that amount of money for an earphone cover though??? I’d rather take that money and travel the world…..

But then again, I wouldn’t mind if someone gave it to me as a present….hahaha!

 

Source: ©The Moodie Report

 

October 9, 2008

The Properties of Diamonds

Filed under: Educational Facts — diamondsurplus @ 9:15 pm
Tags: , , ,

I guess I’m taking a roller coaster ride with regards to the issue. Depends on what I come across.

Back to education for you folks! Found some cool stuff on the geology aspect of diamonds.

I had a taste of this topic while I was taking the subject. Cool stuff

Enjoy!

 

The Properties of Diamonds

Diamonds are found as rough stones and must be processed to create a sparkling gem that is ready for purchase.

As mentioned before, diamonds are the crystallized form of carbon created under extreme heat and pressure. It’s this same process that makes diamonds the hardest mineral we know of. A diamond ranks a 10 on the Mohs Hardness Scale. The Mohs Scale is used to determine the hardness of solids, especially minerals. It is named after the German mineralogist Friedrich Mohs. Here’s the scale, from softest to hardest:

1.    Talc – easily scratched by the fingernail

2.    Gypsum – just scratched by the fingernail

3.    Calcite – scratches and is scratched by a copper coin

4.    Fluorite – not scratched by a copper coin and does not scratch glass

5.    Apatite – just scratches glass and is easily scratched by a knife

6.    Orthoclase – easily scratches glass and is just scratched by a file

7.    Quartz – (amethyst, citrine, tiger’s-eye, aventurine) not scratched by a file

8.    Topaz – scratched only by corundum and diamond

9.    Corundum – (sapphires and rubies) scratched only by a diamond

10.  Diamond – scratched only by another diamond

Even though diamond is only one level higher on the scale than corundum, diamond can be anywhere from 10 to hundreds of times harder than this class of gems.

Rough Diamonds

Rough Diamonds

 

 

 

It is the molecular structure of diamonds that makes them so hard. Diamonds are made of carbon atoms linked together in a lattice structure. Each carbon atom shares electrons with four other carbon atoms, forming a tetrahedral unit. This tetrahedral bonding of five carbon atoms forms an incredibly strong molecule. Graphite, another form of carbon, isn’t as strong as diamond because the carbon atoms in graphite link together in rings, where each atom is only linked to one other atom.

October 3, 2008

Picture time!!!

Filed under: fashion,rings — diamondsurplus @ 6:10 pm
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I’ve been posting articles after articles and words seem to fill these pages. I guess it’s time for a little change. I decided to put up pictures of diamond jewelry. Let me know what you think of them! and oh yes, if you want to, who will you get it for.

I shall start with the rings first 🙂

Enjoy!

Diamond Ring 1

Diamond Ring 2

Diamond Ring 3

Diamond Ring 4

Diamond Ring 5

Diamond Ring 6

 

I personally like Ring #1, 3 and 5 due to its simplicity and uniqueness in design. Ring #2 isn;t too bad either 🙂

October 2, 2008

Glitter, Sparkle, Danger…..

Isn’t it a paradox that the birthplace of these precious gems comes from 3rd world countries? Well I am not entire sure about South Africa being labeled as one but it’s just a thought. I do wonder how much these places really profit from the gem trade.

I shall keep things light and easy for now! Hahahaha although I am tempted to go on and on about how 1st world countries profit from countries which struggle with poverty without giving much thought…..

Read on!

Glitter, Sparkle, Danger – International Gem Trade Has Many Facets

The global trade in precious stones is a multi-billion dollar business. It touches the lives of people in the mines of South Africa, stone cutters of India, and countless others around the world. These precious gems adorn, kings, queens, movie stars and millionaires, and serve as that special gift for a birthday or a young bride. The gem trade – a business that begins in the bowels of the earth and ends up in the glittering shops of Hollywood’s Rodeo Drive or New York’s Fifth Avenue – brings joy, wealth and glory to some, badly needed income to others and prolonged war and devastation to still more.

They glitter and sparkle. Precious stones have fascinated men and women through the ages and still do – whether at a fashion and jewelry show in London or on the red carpet in Hollywood.

They come in all sizes, colors and shapes. Some are fairly common and affordable. Others are rare, highly prized – such as the Crown Jewels – part of Britain’s royal heritage. Queen Elizabeth wears them on state occasions. Otherwise, they’re kept in the Tower of London, where they attract up to two and a half million visitors a year.

“What we’ve got here is very historical and worn by our sovereign, so that, of course, immediately takes it out of the public sector,” says Keith Hanson, Chief Exhibitor at the Tower. “And, the fact that some of our jewels date back over 800 years and that we have the largest top quality white diamond in the world on display.”

The use of precious stones goes back a long way. Rulers, nobles and warriors of many ancient civilizations favored them to show their status.

Turquoise and lapis lazuli were favored by the pharaohs of ancient Egypt and there is evidence that cross-border trade in gem stones was prevalent thousands of years ago.

“We were so surprised to have at the beginning of our history bracelets from the tombs in Abydos in Upper Egypt using some kind of semi-precious stones, especially lapis lazuli, which doesn’t exist in Egypt,” explained Wafaa al Saddiq, Director-General of the Egyptian Museum in Cairo. “This means they must have imported that stone from Afghanistan.”

The Egyptian Queen Cleopatra was known to favor emeralds; the ancient Romans described diamonds as splinters from the stars; and in India, ancient manuscripts refer to gem stones as unique creations of Mother Earth.

Gem stones are a product formed by nature, mainly deep within the earth.  Over the centuries, man has used all sorts of ways to get them out, including dynamite.

It is often back breaking work. South African miner George Oloefse worked at it for nearly half a century. “I have five brothers, he said. “All of them worked in the mines, because my Dad worked in the mines.”

Oloefse worked at the Cullinan diamond mine north of Johannesburg. South Africa has been a major diamond producer since the stones were first discovered there in the 1860s, and diamond mining still provides an important source of income.

Diamond mining provides vital revenues in other African countries as well.

Half-way around the world in India, the gem stone industry – in particular cutting and polishing – is big business.

For Jayshri Bajaj, who works in a diamond factory in Mumbai, it’s her first job and her introduction to diamonds. “It’s great to see a diamond for the first time,” she said.

Bajaj is among one million Indians working in the gem trade, a vital source of income and an important segment of the country’s growing economy.

The gem trade also helps feed families in impoverished corners of Africa, but it has a darker side. When the riches derived from it fall into the hands of despots and warlords, they can kill, and they have done so.

But in the end, the gem stone’s journey takes it to the jewelry shops – be they the big names on New York City’s Fifth Avenue or the more affordable ones in cities and towns across the globe.

Della Tinsley of East London Design says jewelry is about the individual and marks important events in our lives. “People give you jewelry when you’re 21, when you get married, when you have children,” she notes, “and you inherit jewelry as well.”

Gem stones have been prized throughout man’s history and their appeal shows no sign of diminishing.

 

September 29, 2008

Cartier going to Korea

Filed under: Cartier,Diamond News — diamondsurplus @ 10:02 pm
Tags: , , , , ,

Ahhhhhh Cartier…….even the sound it makes when you pronounce it’s name gives out an exquisite flair….it represents the epitome of wealth, luxury and class.

I came across this as I was hunting the web for news in the world of jewelry. Looks like Cartier finally decided to explore the untapped economy capability in the Asian region.

Have a good read! 🙂

 

Cartier Opens Flagship Store in Cheongdam

World-famous French jeweler Cartier finally opened its first flagship store in the fashionable Cheongdam-dong district in southern Seoul.

Designed by French architect David-Pierre Jalicon, the Cartier Maison building is already attracting attention for its elegant facade, inspired by the Korean wrapping cloth or bojagi.

“Cartier has been `jeweler to kings, king of jewelers’ for 160 years and as you know every king needs a castle … This is like a private mansion with unique style. The decor, the private lounges, bridal salon and watch salon ― all of this to make our guests very comfortable,” said Philippe Galtie, managing director of Cartier Korea, during the press preview last week.

While Cartier has opened flagship stores in Japan and China in the last few years, it took longer for the company to open one in Seoul.

“We feel it is the right time for the market to have a flagship store, in terms of level of sophistication of the market. The market is growing very rapidly. Despite the economic uncertainty affecting the world, the high-end products are not affected. We are selling products that you can keep forever,” Galtie said.

Cartier Maison certainly conveys the essence of the Cartier brand, which is known for luxury, craftsmanship and rich heritage. It features two floors of classic interiors, crystal chandeliers and display cases filled with diamond jewelry, tank watches, leather goods and handbags. It is also has several private lounges, where VIP customers are treated to champagne while picking through the Cartier collection.

Galtie said this boutique is the seventh biggest in the world, although he expects the ranking to drop as Cartier builds more stores around the world.

(I prefer the one on the left….The jewelry design on it looks classy)


Cartier Maison features the largest assortment of Cartier jewelry, watches and handbags in Korea.

“We have a long history of accessories. We are known for our jewelry and watches. In jewelry, our best selling items are the Love ring and the Trinity rings, which have become icons for many years. Love rings are 30 years. It is quite old for a fashion item that is still hot. The Trinity ring was introduced in 1924, but the old lady is still quite sexy. That’s the beauty of Cartier, the creativity, design and timeless style,” Galtie said.  (I like the Trinity Ring….it is pretty hot)

 

 

 

 
Cartier Maison has a wide array of diamond jewelry and bridal rings, but the most stunning and expensive piece is a necklace with a 13.6-carat yellow diamond pendant and 19 carats of diamonds.

On Thursday, a jewelry fashion show featured models wearing some of the most dazzling necklaces, earrings, rings and bracelets from Cartier’s collection. There’s even a diamond tiara, which is now available exclusively at the boutique.

To celebrate the opening of the flagship store, six limited edition mini-Marcello handbags, which come in different colors and materials, are available at the Cartier Maison. Three of the mini-Marcello bags already been reserved as of Wednesday.

 

Cartier, Cartier, Cartier…..Creativity, Design and Timeless Style

September 25, 2008

….and they found a Diamond

Filed under: Diamond News — diamondsurplus @ 6:05 am
Tags: , , , ,

Yes, if you haven;t heard the news, they found a Diamond in Lesotho….a BIG one that is, weighing in at a hefty 478 carats. Ahhhh but it only comes in 20th place as the largest diamond ever found.

Seriously, I would like to be in the shoes of a person who was digging dirt away and voila! come across a rock that seemed too pretty to be a rock, only to realize that I hit the jackpot!!! The excitement, the oh-my-gosh-I-found-a-diamond-I-can-hardly-breathe kind of feeling? That is what I am talking about.

Just to keep you updated in the latest buzz in the diamond world, take a look at what I found on BBC 🙂

Massive diamond found in Lesotho

Miners in Lesotho have discovered a huge gem stone which may become the largest ever polished round diamond.

The stone weighs 478 carats and is the 20th largest rough diamond ever found, said Gem Diamonds.

The company said the uncut rock was recovered recently from the Letseng mine, owned by the company in Lesotho.

The diamond, which is as yet unnamed, has the potential to yield a 150 carat cut stone, and could sell for tens of millions of dollars, the company said.

Clarity

“Preliminary examination of this remarkable diamond indicates it will yield a record-breaking polished stone of the very best colour and clarity,” said the company’s chief executive Clifford Elphick.

It would be bigger than the 105 carat round-cut Koh-i-Noor diamond, which is part of the British Crown Jewels.

It would still be dwarfed by the Cullinan diamond discovered in 1905, which was 3,106 carats uncut and yielded a teardrop shaped diamond of 530 carats called the Great Star of Africa.

The Letseng mine is owned by a mining company of which Gem Diamonds controls 70% and the Lesotho government 30%.

…..I wonder how it would look on a Diamond ring 😛

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